Physical Therapy Assistants, also called PTAs, rank #9 in health care support jobs, according to US News & World Report. Those already working in the field likely won’t find this report surprising since the work of a PTA can be very rewarding. The profession is great for those who have a passion for helping people, want flexible hours, good pay, and do not wish to stay in school for many years.
If you’re a physical therapy assistant, congrats on getting into one of the best fields within healthcare. If you’re looking for a rewarding career that allows you flexibility and pays well, consider working with TheraEx. We partner with some of the most well-trained PTAs with some of the nation’s top hospitals and outpatient care centers. Reach out today to see if working together is a match!
What Is a Physical Therapy Assistant?
PTAs are health care professionals that work with physical therapists to carry out care plans for patients seeking physical therapy due to injury or disease. This work can include maneuvering a patient’s body to help them with stretches prescribed by the physical therapist. PTAs explain various exercises to a patient and then observe while the patient does the exercise.
What Does a Physical Therapy Assistant Do?
PTAs work under the direction of a physical therapist to help patients regain movement and strength following an injury or disease. One of the great things about PTAs is that, since they work directly with people, they can have a significant first-hand impact on the lives of patients and their loved ones. Aside from direct patient care, they also may be responsible for moving patients, clerical duties, cleaning and setting up the treatment area.
Other tasks and responsibilities PTAs handle day to day typically include:
- Observe patients before, during, and after therapy
- Document and report the patient’s progress after each treatment to the physical therapist
- Help patients carry out exercises and stretches
- Treat patients using massage and stretching
- Educate patients and family members on what patients should do at home
- Treat patients using various therapeutic interventions, including but not limited to strength and range of motion exercises, massage, stretching, gait, and balance training
- Set up for treatment and clean the area afterward
How Do You Become a Physical Therapy Assistant?
PTA requirements in the U.S. include graduating from an accredited PTA program and passing a national exam to become licensed. Typically, physical therapy assistant programs are two years or 5 semesters. Courses of study include but are not limited to anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, neuroscience, biomechanics, clinical pathology, behavioral science, communication, and ethics.
Typically, three-quarters of the PTA curriculum is in-class and lab study, and about one-quarter of the program is clinical education. Students can expect to spend about 4 months in clinical rotations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a physical therapy assistant’s salary?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual physical therapist assistant salary was $59,770 in 2020. For physical therapy aides, the median wage was $28,450.
What is the difference between a physical therapy aide vs assistant?
Physical therapy assistants provide direct patient care and carry out the treatment protocol prescribed by the physical therapist. Physical therapy aides on the other hand perform tasks that are indirectly related to patient care. These tasks include cleaning and setting up the treatment area, moving patients, and doing clerical work, like answering phones and scheduling patients.
Where do physical therapy assistants work?
Most PTAs work full-time in hospitals or private practices. Others work in schools that provide physical therapy services, rehabilitation centers, or home health. About one-third of physical therapy assistants work part-time.
What can PTAs do and not do?
Physical therapy assistants have the all-important job of carrying out treatment plans designed by a physical therapist. They document and report the patient’s progress after each treatment to the physical therapist. PTAs do not, however, perform evaluations or carry out certain complex procedures. They also do not design care or treatment plans. These are instead the responsibilities of a physical therapist, which requires a doctor of physical therapy degree.
What is the job outlook for a PTA?
PTAs and PT aides are projected to grow by 32 percent over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There will be an estimated 23,800 openings for PTAs and aides each year, on average, for the next ten years. These openings will result from replacing workers who move into different fields or retire.
Why Should Physical Therapy Assistants Choose TheraEx?
There are many reasons physical therapy assistants decide to work with TheraEx. Our team offers a small business feel and as an employee, you’ll enjoy a single point of contact who will get to know you and help you meet your professional goals. If you need more reasons to choose TheraEx, consider these:
- Flexibility. We staff per diem, so you can create a schedule that fits your life.
- Healthcare Professional-Owned. TheraEx is owned by healthcare professionals, so we understand where you’re coming from and can best anticipate your needs.
- Bonus Opportunities. We offer many bonus opportunities such as sign-on bonuses, referral bonuses, loyalty bonuses, and completion bonuses on a case-by-case basis.
- Simple Payroll Management. Our smart technology allows you to easily log in and access your payroll.
- Competitive Pay.
Let our caring and dedicated recruiters get to know you and learn about your goals. We’ll get to know you and learn your goals so we can ensure this important transition goes as smoothly as possible. Give us a call today to learn more about what it’s like to work with TheraEx and find out if we’re a great fit for each other!